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How to save money and energy this winter

(NC) Most of the energy used by individual Ontarians goes to heating and cooling homes. During the long and cold winter heating season, there are a number of ways to cut back and save on bills. Enbridge Gas Distribution provides the following tips to save you a few dollars this New Year.:

In the kitchen

• Turn the oven off a few minutes before the cooking time is over. The heat remaining in the oven will finish the job.

• Only preheat the oven for baking – and then, only for about seven minutes. Most foods, such as roasts and casseroles, don't need a preheated oven to cook properly.

In the washroom

• Sing shorter songs in the shower. The average shower is about eight minutes. Try reducing to five or six.

• Install energy-efficient showerheads.

• The best temperature for your water heater is 54 degrees Celsius. That's hot enough for washing, showers and baths, and reduces the risk of scalding.

In the basement

• When you replace your old electric water heater, consider a tankless natural gas water heater as it heats water only as needed.

• Replace the furnace filter every three months (or clean a permanent one). When the filter is dirty, airflow is restricted and the furnace must work harder, requiring more energy.

• Keep vents and air returns free of obstructions. Furniture, dust, or pet hair can block vents, reducing airflow and the efficiency of the furnace.

In the family room

• If you have a wood-burning fireplace, keep the damper closed when not in use. This helps prevent cold outside air from coming down the flue and warm inside air rising out of it.

• If you purchase a natural gas fireplace, consider a direct vent model. It uses outside air for combustion instead of drawing air from the home.

For more ways to save energy and money in your home, visit www.EnbridgeGas.com

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